It may seem strange to some of you that I would be writing a tribute to a young man I never met yet I feel I know…
When I first started reading blogs I really thought what an interesting thing to do… to be able to sit and write funny stories about your life, your family or whatever thing might come to your mind but I never thought of myself as being able to wade through all the technology I figured you had to learn to be able to write a blog. I mean I have amassed many stories, mostly funny, some sad, some thoughtful and some downright ornery but I didn’t have the nerve to even think about trying to write a blog of my own until I ran across Hallie’s Wonderful World Of Weiners.
I read a comment that Hallie had made on another blog and it was just irreverent and ornery enough to pique my interest and clicked on her name and wandered into the most incredible, fun loving, and just plain loving family with all the attributes of my own family, just less kids. While Hallie, John, CJ and Connor loved to tease each other and play jokes on each other the love in their family was very apparent from the first post of Hallie’s that I read. As I kept reading I learned not only of the love and fun they had as a family I found that Hallie’s twisted and sarcastic tales, not only about the weiners, but also about CJ and Connor, John and Hallie herself drew me into the family. I read about CJ’s excitement about when he first went into a special program in the Air Force. One proud Shmoops and one even prouder mom.
When I feel a kinship with a blogger I tend to go back and read from their beginning of the great adventure into the blogsphere. Every post I read made me want to come back and read some more and that is how I got to ‘know’ CJ. He had the most incredible smile. His eyes just danced in every picture that I saw of him, especially when he was horsing around with Connor. I could see the love they had for each other. The way Connor looked up to his big brother and the way that CJ returned that love. Every family picture I saw CJ was always smiling that great smile, not just a posed smile for the camera. I felt that everything about him was for real, that he lived every moment for that moment.
I didn’t kid myself that it was all a fairy tale happy world, no family’s world is… there are arguments and fights and tears and groundings but you could tell there was much more happiness and good times than there were bad. There is going to be such a void in the Twomey’s world, not only Hallie and John with the loss of their oldest son, but in Connor’s world also. He lost his only brother, the brother he looked up to and admired, his touchstone and his confidante.
I hope that CJ had half a clue of the many people he and his family touched in his too short life. We will never know the whys, but one thing I know is the good Lord has one helluva soldier in his heavenly world.
I wish I’d had the chance to meet CJ and his family in real life but I feel like I knew him and I know that every time I’d see jet trails in the sky I’d think of an airman nicknamed Shmoops… and now every time I see a jet trail in the sky I’ll say a prayer for strength for his family to get through this horrible time to the time when, although the sadness will never go away, that the Twomeys will be able to laugh and tell stories of the Shmoopy man of Twomey land.
If you’d like to know more about CJ you can go to Hallie’s blog, The Wonderful World Of Weiners and read the tribute to CJ written by two close friends of the family by clicking on this link:
CJ, thank you for the joy in your smile that made me smile and may the good Lord hold you and your family close and soothe and protect you all and give them the strength to keep on going after this huge loss.